...some become conditioned enlightened ones
and others irreversible Bodhisattvas.
Some become conditioned enlightened ones/The term "conditioned enlightened ones" here includes Sound Hearers. Sound Hearers are those who awaken to the Way upon hearing the Buddha's voice. Conditioned Enlightened Ones attain the Way through cultivation of the Twelve Causal Conditions. Those of the Sound Hearer Vehicle cultivate the Dharma of the Four Holy Truths: suffering, origination, extinction, and the path. The Conditioned Enlightened Ones cultivate the Dharmas of the Twelve Causal Conditions, the first of which is 1) ignorance. They observe ignorance. Because of ignorance, there is an improper 2) activity, false activity. This false activity gives rise to a false 3) consciousness. With this false consciousness, false 4) name and form arises. The false name and form turns into the false 5) six entrances. With the false six entrances there comes 6) contact. With contact comes 7) feeling. With feeling arises 8) love. Why do you have love? Because you wish to experience certain feelings. Love conditions 9) grasping. With love, there is selfishness. One selfishly wishes to obtain one's love object. You want to appropriate it for your very own. This is all selfish activity. When you get what you want, that is the cause of 10) becoming. With becoming, there is future 11) birth. Future birth means 12) old age and death as well. Conditioned Enlightened Ones cultivate these Twelve; they observe them all the way from ignorance up to old age and death, step by step. "Oh; So all along I was just being turned upside down by ignorance." If one breaks through ignorance, the Dharma Nature manifests. Suddenly, they break through ignorance. "Why should I run along after ignorance?" they think, and they refuse to follow it. Not following along with ignorance means not following along with living beings. Instead, living beings follow you and you manifest the Dharma Nature, the Dharma Nature being your inherent, true nature, your Buddha Nature. If you don't break through ignorance, although you have not lost your Dharma Nature, still, you can't use it. Conditioned Enlightened Ones work on these twelve from #1 right down to #12. Then they take them back down the line like this:
When ignorance is extinguished, then activity is extinguished.
When activity is extinguished, then name and form are extinguished.
When name and form are extinguished, then the six senses are extinguished.
When the six senses are extinguished, then contact is extinguished.
When contact is extinguished, then feeling is extinguished.
When feeling is extinguished, then love is extinguished.
When love is extinguished, then grasping is extinguished.
When grasping is extinguished, then becoming is extinguished.
When becoming is extinguished, then birth is extinguished.
When birth is extinguished, then old age and death are extinguished.
They look into these coming and going and get enlightened all by themselves. They are called those of the Conditioned Enlightened Vehicle.
The text also mentions irreversible Bodhisattvas. Some Bodhisattvas retreat, you know. For example Sariputra. He brought forth the Bodhisattva heart, made Bodhisattva Vows, and practiced the Bodhisattva conduct. But he met someone who wanted an eye and gave him the wrong eye. When the man refused to take his eye, he retreated from his Bodhisattva heart. "Ahh! It is indeed difficult to practice the Bodhisattva Path. I quit." he said, and retreated. The Bodhisattvas mentioned in the text do not retreat.
Technically, there are Three Types of Irreversibility: Irreversible practice, irreversible position, and irreversible thought.
The irreversible practice is the first. If you want to practice as a Bodhisattva, you better think it over clearly first. Why? The Buddhadharma is extremely difficult to practice. When you don't understand the Buddhadharma, you may think it's very simple and easy to study. Who would have guessed that it is just the hardest thing there is to do. To study the Buddhadharma you have to be patient and you have to be firm, and sincere, and persevering. These three qualities: firmness, sincerity, and perseverance are all necessary in your study.
Firmness: you must think, "My wish to study the Buddhadharma is more solid than a diamond. Diamonds may be the hardest things there are, but I am even more firm in my resolve. It shouldn't be the case that you today wish to study the Buddhadharma and tomorrow you give it up, and by the day after that you have forgotten it entirely. That's not being firm at all.
You must also be sincere. If you are sincere you won't be afraid of any kind of difficulty, suffering, or hardship. Thirdly, you have to persevere. You can't give up as soon as the going gets a bit rough. You can't ever quit. That's being irreversible. In your cultivation you should only go forward vigorously and never turn back or retreat.
The second kind of irreversibility is that of position. The Bodhisattva gives rise to the Great Vehicle Bodhisattva Heart and would never retreat to the Two Vehicles. Even if they have to chop up their bodies and grind their bones and give their head, eyes, brains, and ^narrow, they will give them to living beings and never regret it. They would never retreat to the Two Vehicles.
The third kind of irreversibility is that of thought Their Great Vehicle Bodhisattva Hearts never change. They are constantly giving rise to the Bodhisattva Heart. Bodhisattvas benefit all living beings. You must be good to all living beings.
There are several people here who have already left home; there are some who would like to leave home, but have not yet done so. Others are still thinking it over and they haven't decided for certain yet. They want to leave home, but are afraid to commit themselves; they want to stay at home but are afraid they will fall. They can't make up their minds and so they haven't reached the state of a Bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas only care about others; they don't care about themselves. They only think to benefit others; they don't think to benefit themselves. They only care to benefit others; they don't care about helping themselves. Bodhisattvas help others but they don't hold on to the thought of having helped them; they do it and forget it. They feel that helping others is just helping themselves. They don't go around bragging about it. It's enough that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas know what they did; it doesn't matter if other people know. Further, if you practice the Bodhisattva path, take special care not to disturb other living beings. If you want to cultivate, don't cause other living beings to have afflictions. If you cause one person to have afflictions, then towards that person you have not perfectly walked the Bodhisattva path. If you cause two living beings to have afflictions, then towards them both you have not walked the Bodhisattva path. You must not cause others to become afflicted. Do not hurt other people with your words or deeds. In general, in every move and word don't cause others to be unhappy with you. In this way your cultivation will be successful. If you think, "I can ignore other people and do whatever I like,
say whatever I like. If you get angry, well, the more the better. The more afflicted you get the better." If you think like that, you won't be able to cultivate the Way and if you try to cultivate you will run into many demon obstacles. If you cause others to have afflictions, they will certainly cause you to have afflictions so that in the future a lot of demonic obstructions will arise for you. So, people who wish to leave the home life and cultivate must take care not to obstruct others. You must always keep a close watch over your body and mind to see if you are doing things wrong, saying improper things, or hurting others and causing them to get afflicted. You should always look within yourself like this. Don't hurt others. That's the Bodhisattva heart. Bodhisattvas are irreversible in position, thought, and practice. They never retreat from the Bodhi mind.
I, for living beings,
Employ this parable,
To speak of the One Buddha Vehicle.
If all of you are able
To believe and to accept these words,
All of you shall, in the future,
Realize the Buddha Way.
This vehicle 's subtle and wonderful,
Pure and foremost;
And in all the worlds
It is the most supreme.
The Buddhas rejoice in it,
And all living beings
Should praise it as well,
Make offerings and bow before it.
Limitless thousands of millions
Of powers, and liberations,
Dhyana samadhis, and wisdom,
And the Buddhas other Dharmas,
Are obtained in a vehicle such as this.
3. This is the tying together of the analogy of giving all a great cart. It has two parts of which this is the first a. tying together the "giving to all."
Sariputra!/I, for living beings/Sakyamuni Buddha says, "Sariputra, I now for the sake of all living beings employ this parable, use an analogy, to speak of the One Buddha Vehicle/If all of you are able/to believe and to accept these words/All of you Sound Hearers, Conditioned Enlightened Ones, and Bodhisattvas, if you can deeply believe in the Dharma which I have spoken, the Dharma of the Buddha Vehicle...Previously you were taught the Three Vehicles, but that was only Provisional Dharma, Provisional Wisdom. This, now, is real. Don't think that what you heard before was correct and have doubts about the Real Wisdom you heard just now. You should listen to what I say, "believe and accept these words," and then all of you shall, in the future/realize the Buddha Way. You shall all become Buddhas.
This vehicle's subtle and wonderful/The Buddha Vehicle is especially fine and miraculous. All you have to do is have faith and you can become a Buddha. You don't necessarily have to do a certain amount of merit and virtue, or cultivate like I did in the past for three great asamkhyeya kalpas in order to become a Buddha. Now, I have taught you the Dharma door of the One "Buddha Vehicle, and all you have to do is believe and you have a chance to become a Buddha. Pure and foremost/This is the foremost of pure Dharmas. And in all the worlds/it is the most supreme/There is nothing higher than the One Buddha Vehicle. It is the unsurpassed Dharma door. The Buddhas rejoice in it/The Buddhas like this Dharma door best of all. And all living beings/all you living beings should praise it as well/make offerings and bob) before it/ The Great Vehicle's Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra is what you should worship. Limitless thousands of millions/of powers, and liberations/the Buddhas' Ten Wisdom Powers and Eight Liberations, Dhyana Samadhis and wisdom/ and the Buddhas' other Dharmas/are obtained with a vehicle such as this/You have no idea how many offerings you have made in the past in order to meet up with this Dharma door now and obtain the Buddha Vehicle; this is a very rare affinity. Don't think it's very easy to meet up with.
I cause all my sons,
Night and day, for many aeons,
Ever to amuse themselves
In the company of the Bodhisattvas,
And the host of Sound Hearers,
Riding this precious vehicle
Straight to the field of the Way.
For these reasons the,
Though they seek in the ten directions,
There is no other vehicle
Except for the Buddhas' expedients.
This is b. tying together their rejoicing.
All the living beings have been given the Great Vehicle Buddhadharma; it has been spoken equally for all living beings. Now, in this passage, the Buddha tells all living beings they should be happy. I cause all my sons/all living beings, night and day, for many aeons/What is meant by "day"? When all living beings obtain the Buddha's real wisdom, that is like the day. When all living beings have not yet exhausted their ignorance, that is like the "night." Ignorance is the night; wisdom is the day. "Many aeons" refers to a great stretch of time. Ever to amuse themselves/for a short time "night and day," or for a long time "many aeons." The long period of time points to the living beings who were taught and transformed by the Buddha at the time of the Buddha Sun-Moon-Lamp. It's been a long time since then. They "ever amuse themselves" by cultivating the Great Vehicle Dharma. In the company of the Bodhisattvas/and the host of Sound Hearers/and Conditioned Enlightened Ones. Riding this precious vehicle. They rely on the Great Vehicle, the Buddha Vehicle in cultivation. Straight to the field of the Way/to the stage of Bodhi's enlightened fruition, to the realization of Buddhahood. For this reason, then/though they seek in the ten directions/Look as you will for another dharma like it in all the ten directions, there is no other vehicle/There's nothing higher or more wonderful than this Dharma. Except for the Buddhas' expedients. If you found some other vehicle, it would simply be one of the Buddhas' expedient dharmas, set up to teach and transform living beings.
I tell you, Sariputra, that all of you
Are my children and I am your father.
For many aeons, you have been burned by many miseries,
And I have saved you all, leading you out of the Triple Realm.
Although earlier I said that you had passed into extinction,
It was only an end to birth and death and not the real extinction.
What you should accomplish now, is nothing but the Buddhas' wisdom.
If there are Bodhisattvas within this multitude
They can single mindedly listen to the Buddha's real Dharma.
Though the Buddhas, World Honored Ones, employ expedient devices,
The living beings whom they teach all are Bodhisattvas.
This is part four. The verse tying in the "non falseness.
I tell you Sariputra/Sakyamuni Buddha continues speaking to Sariputra saying, "All of you living beings, Bodhisattvas, Sound Hearers, Conditioned Enlightened Ones, Bhiksus, Bhiksunis," that all of you/are my children/You study the Buddhadharma and you have brought forth the Bodhi heart and you are all my children. And I am your father/Since you are the Buddha's children, then I, the Buddha, am your father. For many aeons, you/all you living beings, have passed through an extremely long period of time, lifetime after lifetime, for limitless boundless great aeons, and have been burned by many miseries/The Three, Eight, and Limitless Sufferings, all these sufferings have burned and scorched you. And I have saved you all/At all times I have been busy saving you from the fires of suffering. Leading you out of the Triple Realm/Leading you out of the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm. Although earlier I said/that you had passed into extinction/ that you had already reached extinction, that was merely an expedient device; it was only an end to birth and death/and not real extinction. You have only ended Share section birth and death, but you have by no means ended Change birth and death. Speaking in terms of Real Wisdom, real Dharma, you have not gained extinction. What you should accomplish now/is nothing but the Buddhas' wisdom/Your job now is to study the Buddha's wisdom. You should practice genuine Dharma.
If there are Bodhisattvas/if there be Bodhisattvas within this multitude/In this great assembly, they can single mindedly listen to/the Buddha's real Dharma/the genuine Dharma door, which I am speaking. This is the Real Wisdom Dharma; it is not Provisional Dharma.
Though the Buddhas, the World Honored Ones/employ expedient devices/ they use expedient devices, the living beings whom they teach/the beings they convert by "bestowing the provisional for the sake of the real," and setting forth the Dharma of the Three Vehicles, all are Bodhisattvas/The expedient Dharma doors are taught for the sake of the real, the genuine Dharma. So all the living beings they teach are in reality Bodhisattvas and they should retreat from the small and go towards the great, cultivating the Bodhisattva practices.
If there are those of little wisdom, deeply attached to love and desire,
For their sakes I teach the truth of suffering.
Living beings then rejoice gaining what they never nod,
For the Buddha's teaching of suffering 's truth is true, real, and not false.
If there are living beings who know not suffering's origin,
And are deeply attached to suffering's cause, unable to lease it for even a moment,
For their sakes, I expediently speak of the path.
The cause of all suffering is rooted in greed and desire.
If one extinguishes greed and desire suffering has nothing to rest upon.
The extinction of all suffering is called the third truth.
For the sake of the truth of extinction one cultivates the path;
Leaving all suffering's bonds is called the attainment of liberation.
From what is it that these people have been liberated?
The mere separation from the false they call liberation.
In reality they have not yet attained, to total liberation.
The Buddha says that these people have not really reached, extinction.
Because they have not yet attained the Unsurpassed Path.
I am the Dharma King at ease within all the Dharmas,
To bring peace and tranquility to living beings
I manifest in the world.
If there are those of little wisdom/If there are those living beings who do not have great wisdom, in fact, they don't really have any "small" wisdom, either. Deeply attached to love and desire/They are profoundly addicted to love and lust. Here we are referring to the delusions of views and the delusions of thought. View delusions means that when something happens you don't understand it and get confused by it. Thought delusions means that you can't figure out clearly in your mind what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong. Although you can't tell the different, you still keep trying to; you keep thinking it over, thinking it over, but you lack the wisdom to decide properly. For their sakes I/for living beings like this, I teach the truth of suffering/I teach the first of the Four Holy Truths, which is the Truth of Suffering. Living beings then rejoice/Before, living beings thought that suffering was bliss. Although they were in a state of suffering, they did not realize that they were suffering. Now that I have taught them about the Truth of Suffering, they are extremely happy. They are gaining what they never had/They had never heard such a wonderful Dharma. For the Buddha's teaching of suffering's truth/is true, real, and not false/It's really real; It's not wrong. It is really, really true Dharma.
If there are living beings/who know not suffering's origin/What is the origin of suffering? It is the second of the Pour Holy Truths, the Truth of Origination. And are deeply attached to suffering's cause/Origination is the cause of suffering and suffering is the fruit, or result of Origination. Thus, they are deeply attached to the cause of suffering, origination. Origination is just affliction. There are six kinds of basic afflictions. There are ten minor following afflictions, two middle following afflictions, and eight great following afflictions. These twenty six kinds of afflictions are the cause of suffering.
Unable to leave it for even a moment/They don't wish to separate from these afflictions for any length of time at all. For their sakes, I/For living beings like this expediently speak of the path/I speak of the Path which is to be cultivated, of the expedient Dharma door.
The cause of suffering/ is rooted in greed and desire/Suffering comes from origination, and the most important factor in origination is greed and desire.
What is greed? It means never being satisfied. No matter how much one gets, it's not enough. Say, to begin with you didn't even have a hundred dollars. In your greed you think of a way to get a hundred dollars, thinking that you would then be satisfied. But once you get that hundred dollars, you feel it's still not enough. "I need a thousand," you think. When you've got a thousand you still aren't satisfied. "I want some clothes. I really need a house and a piece of land. So this is not enough. If I had ten thousand dollars I'd really be satisfied. In fact, I'd retire. I'd never want anything again or be greedy for anything else. That would do it, really." But then when you get ten thousands dollars, what with inflation and everything else..."Everything's going up, you know," you say. You'd like to retire, but "that's really still not enough," you think. "I've got to have a hundred thousand then I'll be set to retire. I can't retire yet."
So you greedily go after a hundred thousand and it's still not enough! Suddenly your greed gets entirely out of hand and you go after a million, but before you get it, it comes tine to die, and as you die you think, "I wanted a million dollars but I never, did reach my aim. I'll try again next life for sure." But in your next life you turn into a horse or a cow.
So what advantages does greed have anyway? With greed there is misery, for greed is the root of suffering. If one extinguishes greed and desire/ suffering has nothing to rest upon/If you have no greed or desire then there will be no suffering. If you wish to get rid of suffering, first of all you must get rid of greed. If you have no greed or desire then suffering has no root, nothing to rest on, no place to stay. The extinction of all suffering/ is called the third truth/the Truth of Extinction, the Third of the Four Holy Truths. For the sake of the truth of extinction/one cultivates the Path/If you want to attain the Truth of Extinction, you must first cultivate the Way. Leaving all suffering's bonds/is called the attainment of liberation/Leaving all those things which bind us in suffering is liberation from the world. Why is one not liberated? Because one can't see through it, can't put it down. Until one can see through everything and put it all down, one cannot be liberated. When you can see through it and put it down, that is freedom, that is release.
||Ah...people are greedy for this and greedy for that. Why? Because they can't put it down. If, while alive, you can look upon yourself as already dead, then, since you are already dead, why bother to slave away for your body? If you can be a "living dead person" you won't be attached to anything. You'll see through everything and that's just the attainment of liberation. From what is it that/these people have been liberated? The mere separation from the false/they call liberation/Those who have cultivated and put|
an end to the delusions of views and thought thus
ending share section birth and death may call this liberation, but in
reality they have not yet/attained to total liberation/To attain to total
still extinction and ultimate liberation, you must see through everything
and let it go. I often say to you," With me, everything's okay."
This may seem very shallow, but its meaning is quite profound. As long as
something's a problem for you, then you have not been liberated. When
there are no more problems, then you've been freed. You are just like
empty space. Who can tie up empty space? Who can tie it down? When you are
no longer greedy for fame, you are liberated from fame. When you no
longer seek profit, then you are liberated from profit. Freed from fame
and profit, what else is there to keep you down? Nothing.
I am the Dharma King/at ease within all the Dharmas/Among all the Dharmas am the king. Speaking coming and going, it's the Dharma. Broadly and minutely, it's the Dharma. Coming and going, broadly and minutely, I am at ease within all the Dharmas. However I explain it, it is correct. To bring peace and tranquility to living beings/I manifest in the world/Why do I manifest in the world? I want living beings to be at peace, to attain ultimate happiness and ultimate liberation. That is why the Buddha appears in the world.
Continued next issue